Cold hardy figs


A couple of my in ground plants here in zone 4, Maine…might get some fruit from these guys! Potted ones produce better-they spend the winter indoors and

get an earlier start

Airlayering the top off a gangly I-258. This is a premier late variety, not sure whether it will ever be able to ripen fruit in my spot without a serious head start in a greenhouse, but worth a try…I have been culling late varieties, but this one grows so well I am giving it a try


Hi @JesseS,
I got an I-258 from you last year. It’s a beautiful and vigorous grower. Very happy to report that it survived all winter outdoors with zero protection. But I am in Zone 8: although a very wet zone 8 where it rains all winter long.

It woke up early (March) and has set a couple of figlets. I hope they ripen in our short and cool summer this year.


How big should the figs on a HC get. I have a couple in pots and they have several figs on them but the seem awfully small to me, about the size of a nickel, maybe smaller


Hardy Chicago is a small fig and is not going to be too big. It will get little bigger then quarter size when fully ripe.


Small figs are beginning to form now.


Figs look great! For a month less growing season due to abnormal cold and an extreme drought I would say the covering the fig with wood chips trick worked phenomenal!


Marseilles Black VS

Marseilles Black VS

White Triana

White Triana



Wow!! $1000 and $550? What were those varieties? What are your top 5 must haves? I just started figs as I moved to An area where I should be able to grow them easily and want to get the best of the best only since my growing space is quite limited.
Well, let me clarify. Maybe not the BEST of the best if it’s $1000 a pop. :joy:


Olympian Fig looking good. Died to the ground and came back strong and with fruit this summer.


What’s an ideal potting mixture for growing figs? I’ll have some in the ground but others in 15 gallon pots.
What’s ideal for starting cuttings and should that be done at a certain time of the year? I got a few plants from a local nursery that I plan to use as practice for grafting and starting cuttings and hone my skills before I mess around w the good stuff


Pro-mix will work well. There’s better self-made-mixes I’m sure. I use Pro-mix for everything in containers.

For cuttings I suggest the paper towel method. You take dormant/hardwood cuttings and wrap a slightly damp paper towel around the bottom 1/3 or 1/2 of a 6-8" cutting and put a batch of them into a ziplock bag and then put them in a dark area with the bag open/not zipped shut. I use a kitchen drawer because that’s how I saw @tonyOmahaz5 doing it. It works awesome. Some people go thru a lot more ‘trouble’ than that but I see no reason to do so.

Grafting is an acquired skill on any woody-plant. If you don’t have experience I would suggest you begin practicing cleft grafting on dormant wood off anything whatsoever. Or, buy a Zenport V grafting tool for 25-35 bucks. Here begins talking about fig grafting using this tool:
Zenport grafting tool



Clark, what variety of figs are those? What size do the fruits get by harvest time?


Brown turkey but Chicago Hardy do well here also.


Thank you so much!!! I have quite a bit of grafting experience from cacao trees but wasn’t sure how figs compared. Thank you for the suggestions for root cuttings and the link, I’ll read it all and see how it turns out!


I had no idea fig growers needed to do this. Anything else, or just pinch growth tips?


Ok, good to know. A neighbor about 12 miles from me lost her 3 yr old Chicago Hardy this past winter. She really covered it well, wrapped it all up, etc. according to Stark Bros instruction. I was thinking they weren’t so hardy here after all.


Pinched them as early in the Spring as you can at fifth leaf. This will cause the fig tree to form fruits.




The key to figs is cover them with wood chips and they will be fine. That’s how I wintered mine and I lost very little growth.
I like your fertilize the figs with nitrogen trick also!


Did you bend the tree horizontal to be able to cover it? Or cut it back? or was it more bush type with no tall central leader? The pictures look like a small bush - do you prune it to keep from forming a tall central leader? My friend’s tree was about 5’ or more. She caged it, stuffed hay and other mulch material inside the cage to completely surround the tree, then wrapped it up in heavy tarps.


If you look up above you can see what I did. I bent it over as much as possible and covered it with wood chips.